In an earlier post, we reported on investigations to be conducted to support the increase in African exports using the African Growth & Opportunities Act (AGOA).  In support of the commitment by the Obama Administration to renew AGOA the US International Trade Commission (USITC) had been requested to examine the impact of AGOA for African exporters and US businesses.

AGOA is the U.S. trade preference program that provides duty-free access for products of sub-Saharan African exporters products entering the United States. Unless renewed by the U.S. Congress, the program will expire on September 30th, 2015.

The only report to be made public, the AGOA: Trade and Investment Performance Overview is now available. Among other things, the report identified:

African products with the greatest export potential to the US market:

  • Primarily agricultural products, handcrafts and woodcrafts, leather and leather

Factors that make these African products competitive in international markets:

  • For agricultural products: favorable climates, fertile soils, abundant and low-cost labor, policies and programs that support the sector, and the development of farmer cooperatives
  • For handcraft and woodcraft products: availability of abundant and distinctive raw materials (e.g., bamboo and clay), an artistic and creative culture, and supportive government policies
  • For leather and leather products: abundance of livestock herds, good climate and soil conditions, quality livestock and skins, and strong government support for the sector.

The report also noted several products that the US imports but from sources other than sub-Saharan Africa – another area of opportunity for African exporters:

  • Fresh, chilled, and frozen fish; horticultural products (including cut flowers, bananas, and tropical fruit); sugar; certain apparel (e.g., T-shirts and sweaters); and gold

These are all products for which AGOA countries are viewed as being globally competitive and where there is also strong demand in the United States.

Contact us to learn how to use AGOA to get your products into US markets.